If you’re looking to choose a child care centre or early learning facility, you might be wondering what criteria to look out for. If you’ve never enrolled a child in daycare before, it can be hard to know what to expect or what kind of centre would be best for your child.
In this article, we’ll cover some things to look out for and keep in mind when it comes to child care centres, so you have a better idea of what they’re about and what kind of daycare centre would suit your and your child best.
#1 – Does the Centre Offer a School-Readiness Program?
Many daycare centres and early learning child care centres offer what’s commonly known as a school-readiness program. What this entails is a curriculum designed to prepare young children for the school years ahead.
This is accomplished by teaching them the basics in English, mathematics, science, reading, spelling and other core subjects.
It’s not all about academics, however, as what’s just as important is building a child’s self-esteem and confidence, so they can go to school on that very first day feeling relaxed, comfortable and self-assured. Learning how to interact with other kids and adults is a vital part of the school-readiness program, as social skills are highly important.
#2 – Does the Centre Come With Positive Recommendations?
This is important, as not every facility is going to be the same.
You could go online and search for independent reviews and testimonials of a childhood centre you’re interested in and see if the consensus is positive. Alternatively, ask other parents what centre they’ve enrolled their kids in and whether they’re happy with how things are going overall.
Personal recommendations can be one of the best ways to locate the right early learning centre for your child. If someone you know is happy and their child is happy, you can be assured it’s a good choice for your own child or children.
#3 – Does the Daycare Centre Have a Transparent Curriculum Of What They Offer?
These days, daycare centres are more than just glorified babysitting services. You want to know that while your children are safe and having fun throughout the day, they are also learning and developing their bodies and minds.
A quality child care centre will be transparent with what they’re offering. You should be able to view their website and see details about their curriculum, what their aims and goals are for the kids, what skills and knowledge they teach, what children will do for activities and fun and so on.
As a parent, and someone who is paying for the service, it’s within your rights to know what to expect and to be able to determine, from the curriculum, whether it’s the best daycare centre for your child’s needs.
#4 – Are There Any Age Restrictions?
Not all child care centres will cater to toddlers, for example, so you’ll want to check if there are any age restrictions first before attempting to enrol your child in a particular centre. If the website doesn’t mention it, just give them a call and ask.
#5 – Does the Centre Offer Nutritious Meals?
You want to know that your kids are being fed healthy food, along with getting a basis in education, being looked after and having a fun time. Does the centre offer meals as part of the deal and if so, what’s on the menu?
To take things a step further, it’s to your advantage if the centre also teaches children about good nutrition and healthy eating. This way, kids will learn from an early age what’s good for them.
#6 – Finding the Right Daycare Centre Near You
Australia has daycare centres and early learning facilities all around the country. To locate a good one near you, just go online and do a search. For example, if you live in NSW, you could try terms like:
- Childcare centres NSW
- NSW childcare centres
- Child care NSW
You’re bound to find a quality centre somewhere near your location.
Daycare is one of the best decisions a parent can make, so long as you take the time to find the right daycare centre for you and your child.